Review: Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime is the second generation of a plug-in hybrid Prius, sporting a new name and building on the excessively styled and impressively performing latest generation Prius Liftback. It is the most substantial electric vehicle offering from the company to date. It is available in the Prius Prime’s upper trim levels, called Premium and Advanced. The Prius Prime will have class-leading total drive range with a EPA-estimated 640 miles with all-electric range of 25 miles per full charge.

Key Specifications

  • Make: Toyota
  • Model: Prius Prime
  • Electric/Hybrid: Plug-In Hybrid
  • Range: 25 miles 40 km
  • Price: $27,100

Range & Battery

  • Battery options

    • 8.8 (kWh) Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

    MPG Ratings:

    • EPA-estimated mileage estimates in hybrid mode: 55 MPG City, 53 MPG Highway

    Motor Power Rating:

    • Gasoline Engine: 1.8L four-cylinder DOHC 16-Valve with 95 hp
      Electric Motor: 600V Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor
      Total Hybrid System Net Power: 121hp/90kW
  • Charge time

    For full charge:

    • Standard household 110V outlet: 5 ½ hours
    • 240V public charging station: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Innovation & Self-driving

Driver Assistance Features

  • Toyota Safety Sense P: includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Color Head-Up Display with speedometer, navigation, Hybrid System Indicator, battery charge, and Toyota Safety Sense P alerts
  • Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Intelligent Parking Assist
  • Hill Start Assist Control
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Wireless Phone Charging
  • Techno-wonder with Available 11.6-inch HD Multimedia Display


  • Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation22 and App Suite
  • 4.2” color dual Multi-Information Display with customizable screens including Energy Monitor, Hybrid System Indicator and Eco Score, Eco Savings Record, Drive Monitor, Eco Diary, climate control, driver support systems, audio system content and navigation system content
  • Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging
  • Front USB power outlet

2 User Reviews on “Toyota Prius Prime”

  1. CarEnthusiast
    America's Favorite Green Vehicle
    Toyota Prius Prime - I was a passenger

    So, the other day I noticed my neighbor had gone out and bought himself the newest Toyota Prius Prime. Curious about the latest variant of the most popular hybrid car in America, I asked him to fill me in on a few of the details and if we could go for a ride. I love hybrids and all-electric vehicles because I firmly believe these are the cars of the future. While the Prius has been both praised and knocked by so many, the Prius Prime has a lot to offer in terms of power and performance. I was happy to have the opportunity to go for a drive with my neighbor the other day.

    The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime comes with a quite powerful Atkinson cycle 1.8-liter engine and one of the most advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrains on the market. This year Toyota has upped the ante by doubling the size of the battery pack from a 4.4 kWh to an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion power pack that offers more than enough power to drive up to 22 miles on battery power alone. When using both the gasoline engine and the two electric motors together, the Prius Prime offers a range of approximately 600 miles on a full tank and full charge.

    Numbers are all well and good, but they say the quality of the food lies in the tasting, the same applies to the quality of a hybrid car in that what really counts is how well it performs. The last time I sat in a Prius I loved the low operating cost but was less than impressed with its performance. One thing I found particularly interesting is that the Prime offers better zero to 40 miles per hour acceleration in EV mode than it does in hybrid mode. Zero to 60 mph times in both EV and hybrid modes are very similar at around ten and a half seconds.

    The combined output of both electric motors and the Atkinson cycle gas engine sits at 121 horsepower. Using only EV mode, the Prius Prime offers a top speed of 84 mph, which is better than the previous model which clocked in at only 62 mph. The best part is the new Prius Prime can maintain top speed until the batteries are virtually depleted. When plugged into a standard 110V outlet the battery pack can be fully recharged in about 5 1/2 hours or if you have access to a 240V outlet it will only take 2 hours.

    One final cool thought, the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime makes use of many lightweight materials to help keep the overall weight down, including an all carbon fiber rear hatch. I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the drive and might seriously consider this car when the time comes to replace my current ride.


  2. StephenSD
    2017 Toyota Prius Prime: Let Down By A Careless Dealer
    Advanced - I have test driven this car

    by Stephen Fogel

    The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime in this review is the plug-in hybrid version of the Prius. This is the second generation of the plug-in Prius. The first generation was produced in the standard Prius body, and did not have its own visual identity.

    A New Look For A New Generation
    That has changed with the second generation. The new Toyota Prius Prime comes in an extremely styled version of the new, more expressive Prius. The Prime has a different front clip with LED headlights and an acrylic overlay, and a different rear hatch in carbon fiber with an unusual dual-wave backlight and matching rear LED light treatment. Now you can tell a Prime from a standard Prius, even at night!

    I made several attempts to schedule a Prius Prime test drive at my local Toyota dealer. Twice my drive was cancelled when the single car in stock was sold before I arrived. They are apparently in short supply compared to the standard Prius, which is plentiful on dealer lots.

    Nicely Done Inside
    The third time, the car was there. The Prius Prime I drove was the top-of-the-line Advanced model, with all available options. Inside, it had very comfortable Softex simulated leather seats with supportive side bolsters. The 5-door hatchback has plenty of room for four, but not five. The rear seat folds down in a 60/40 split. The rear hatch opens wide and high for loading, but the larger plug-in battery pack raises the trunk floor a few inches, reducing the load area slightly.

    The dashboard was a combination of traditional Prius and Tesla. The typical Prius wide screen instrument panel was spread out across the width of the dash under the windshield. In the center of the dash was a large vertical iPad-like touchscreen. The very bright display was easy to read in the intense San Diego sunlight. The display had the navigation at the top, with the audio and climate controls underneath. Everything worked very well, except for the heads-up display. My polarized sunglasses rendered it invisible.

    Connectivity And Technology
    As far as connectivity features, the Prius Prime has GPS navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and the Entune® App Suite. This provides subscription-free access, through your phone, to Destination Search, iHeartRadio,, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Facebook Places, Yelp® and Slacker Radio. You also get real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. The Prius Prime, like all Toyota products, does not have built-in internet access. Both the navigation system and the App Suite can be used to find a charging station when necessary.

    The Prius Prime also comes with Toyota Safety Sense P, a suite of driver assistance technologies. These include Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is standard on the Advanced model.

    Driving Impressions
    After a thorough tutorial from the salesman, we left the lot. The Prime immediately showed a major improvement in ride and handling over the first generation. The ride was well controlled, firm but comfortable. The Prime was very quiet at low speeds. It was difficult to tell whether the gasoline engine was on or not. Maneuvering on city streets was easy, with good visibility all around – except for that funky wavy taillight bisecting the rear view!

    We then got onto the freeway. Here is where the car reminded me that it was still a Prius, with its single-minded mission of producing high fuel efficiency. Accelerating hard produced a labored drone from the gasoline engine, which got the Prime up to speed in an acceptable time frame – but it clearly did not sound happy doing it. A performance car this is not.

    A Major Fail
    There is one major issue that likely made an impact on my impression of the Prime. The Toyota dealer had not charged the battery. It had about a one-third charge, which the salesman said was not enough to allow it to run in EV mode. As a result, I was unable to drive it on electric only. With a fully charged battery, the Prius Prime can go up to 25 miles. I felt cheated.

    This was a huge oversight on the dealer’s part. It makes me wonder whether anyone there is paying attention to the specific needs of plug-in hybrid buyers. These buyers are different from standard hybrid buyers, who will never need to plug in their cars. Plug-in buyers want to maximize their use of electricity to avoid using gasoline. Driving in EV mode is their default. A full charge is non-negotiable. The irony is that about two hours on 240V or five hours on 110V current would have fully charged it.

    The Weak Link
    Herein lies a cautionary tale. Various government bodies mandate fuel efficiency and electrification requirements. Auto manufacturers collectively spend billions of dollars to develop the technology and create products that meet these requirements. Consumers educate themselves and investigate the options in this brave new world.

    …and then everyone is let down by the failure of the retailer to charge the vehicle’s battery! How does this happen? All I know is that it did happen to me, and it is not a good thing at all. Plug-in buyers will be unhappy and it will cost these dealers sales. If this can happen at a dealership owned by the nation’s second-largest dealer group, it can happen anywhere.

    The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is very nicely done. It feels like a real car, not a science experiment. It is a plug-in hybrid that most people could live with. Let’s hope that the dealers get their act together and make it possible for people to test drive these cars properly, enjoy the benefits of electrification, and then buy them.



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